Thursday, November 29, 2012

Knackered Coral (palate cleanser!)

Once in a while, we all get tired of the work that goes into fancy nails... but of course life doesn't stop, friends have birthdays at less-than-ideal moments... and no polish fetishist wants to show up at a party with naked nails!

So here's a little quick NOTD I threw together to match my party outfit. It's nothing more than one coat of Butter London Knackered over two coats of Orly Gilded Coral, topcoat and done! 

Nothing too fancy, but gorgeous in a subtle way! I was super happy with this mani.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I'm aliiiveee!

Hello hello, guess who's finally back online! Got my new laptop, got it set up... still working on getting some of my programs back, like my picture editor, and re-stocking my itunes library... but here I am, not dead.

I've been thinking I want to do other things with this blog other than just nail art. Don't get me wrong, I still love doing my nails! It's just that I have other interests as well... and yeah, to be entirely honest I get a little burned out on the nail blogging thing. Sometimes I just don't want to even do a plain one-color manicure, but I feel like I need something for the blog, and then it makes a chore out of something that should be fun.

TBH I never originally intended for this to be a nail-art-only blog. I started out with a few posts like that, since it was easy to write about and fun and not too scary for a baby blogger like me. But it's not what I really wanted to commit to for the long term, and more and more I'm feeling like it's time to branch out and take some of those scary steps into a bigger world.

I have no idea what direction I'll take it, but don't worry, I'll still do nail art! Maybe not as often, and as I get other things rolling it might taper off... but I'll try to at least keep things interesting around here. I anticipate an awkward settling-in phase that might drag on a bit.. hopefully not too bad though!

So what sort of posts would you (few) folks who already follow me like to see? I'd hate to ignore you entirely! I'll understand if the change from what you were expecting bothers you, don't worry. I do love you all!

Foodie awesomeness? Cat pictures? Crafty tutorials? Gardening stuff? Activism? Personal updates? Random rambling about life, the universe, and everything? I'm pretty sure I could deliver a little of all the above, though it's by no means an exhaustive list of everything that might ever cross my mind (or keyboard). Feedback is awesome, as always!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I've been on just a bit of a duo/multichrome kick lately. But of course I have to do at least some minimal  nail art, still!

For this manicure I started with two coats of Sinful Colors Lavender, freehanded a feathery/grassy/whatever it is design with my black Kiss striper, then topped the whole thing with one coat of Sinful Colors Let Me Go.

I really love how this turned out, though I wish I'd been a bit more consistent with the striper. The base is just dark enough to bring out the duochrome shimmer in Let Me Go. I suck at taking pictures of duochromes, so you can't really see it here... but trust me, it's pretty!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Matte/Gloss Attempt (Epic Fail and a WTF!)

I'm not even close to a nail guru, and I'm absolutely, positively not perfect when it comes to nail art! But, I am willing to share my failures as well as my successes. Maybe someone can explain what happened here, anyway!

So, I tried stamping with a clear top coat over a satin matte polish (Revlon Ruby Ribbon). Half the stamps ended up matte-er than the polish, and the other half actually stamped shiny. Plus apparently my cat was playing with my stamper, and got little furs all over it that I didn't notice until they were stuck to my nails and I had to try to carefully pick them off... and I'm not sure why they still had linty looking white bits all over everything. :/

Can anyone explain what went wrong here? Someone more experienced in stamping than I am, perhaps? I'm so confused.

(I used stamps from BM12 and BM20 btw)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Stamped Stars and Glowy Glassflecks

More fun with stamping. I picked up this gorgeous glassfleck recently, and it's been in my GOTTA WEAR THIS SOON!!! pile along with it's slightly purpler cousin.

The base is Orly Ingenue, stamped with Color Club Catwalk Queen and BM21. The full-nail designs in this set are a little small for me, they fit my main fingers alright but they don't quite cover my thumbnail unfortunately. This one worked ok since it doesn't have a hard cutoff at the edge of the design!

Oh, glowy glassflecks. How I love you. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Diamond Glitter Skittles

I finally got some polishes with diamond glitters, and I just couldn't wait to try them all out! So I went ahead and did a skittles mani with the four new Pure Ice polishes I picked up last time I was at WalMart.

A rare right-hand shot! I dinged up my left hand before I could get any pictures, unfortunately! So I had to resort to photographing the less pretty side. I photoshopped out a major hangnail so you don't have to look at that, at least!

Yes, I know, there's one nail without diamond glitters! It's the one polish I picked up that didn't have them, so I did it accent-nail style. 

The polishes I used were:
pinky - Three coats of L.A. Colors Live, one coat of Pure Ice Material Girl
Ring - Two coats of L.A. Colors Sea Siren, two coats of Pure Ice French Twist (I stamped over this with the new Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure, but it doesn't really show) 
Middle - Three coats of Sinful Colors This Is It, one coat of Pure Ice Treasure Hunt
Index - Two coats of Wet & Wild Caribbean Frost, one coat of Pure Ice Hot-Rocks 

French Twist has a black jelly base, like Revlon Scandalous and Wet & Wild Fergie Make Them Boys Go Loco. I'm just collecting all the colors of this family! :D

The diamond glitters in Hot-Rocks came out easily, but for Treasure Hunt and Material Girl I had to fish and place. All the glitters were reasonably smooth, I only needed two coats of top coat on my pinky because it's so tiny and highly curved... and only for the diamond near the cuticle. There was the tiniest bit of grittiness noticeable in a few spots, which doesn't bother me, but if you like super-glassy finish on your manicures better plan on double top coat.

This Is It is still a tad sheer at three coats, like a lot of Sinful Colors polishes. If you don't have much free edge you could probably get away with it, but to be sure of coverage I'd layer it over a creme.

My favorite of these was my pinky. I really really like the pink glitter over silver! The rest kinda turned out meh IMO. Any standouts to you?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Stamped Arrows (Unexpectedly Awesome)

You have NO IDEA how much willpower it took to stick to my dotting practice after getting stamping plates, and not just stamp the living daylights out of my nails! But I finally feel like my dotting skills have improved sufficiently now, and that means it's time for Adventures in Stamping!

I did this mani entirely as a plate test, not expecting to like it at all. I picked two colors I'm not super fond of, and an oddball stamp image from BM20, and then... what is this, three mehs make an awesome???

The base color is Finger Paints Art Loft-y Toffee, which I've worn on its own before, and alone it does not play well with my skintone. But maybe it just doesn't play well with my extra-pale early spring skintone? Whatever the case, I liked it better the second time around, particularly after stamping over it with Color Club Trippie Hippie, which is a lovely color but quite frankly jewel-tone blues and my skin have never gotten along very well. Except here. Something about this combination just unexpectedly WORKS for me.

Have you ever had a mani just work, beyond all the bounds of reason?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

October Haul

I had a record awesome month for tips, last month, and an Ulta opened in town, so I celebrated with some new polishes, including two outside my usual price range (I try to avoid paying more than $8 a bottle, and at $8 I'm pretty fussy) but they're just so gorgeous! And I was celebrating.

Butter London:
- Trustafarian
- Knackered

- Oui
- Spazmatic
- Gilded Coral

- Julieanne
- Sarah (this is going to be my go-to holiday red, I can already tell)
- Dana (much more ordinary in color than I'd usually pay $8 for, but this one I picked up for the name. For... reasons. The same reasons I will one day also own Tallulah and Juliette, and Victoria/Mary Lou if they ever make those. And Amanda. Even though that one's maybe stretching the theme a little (more than Juliette... I can accept a spelling variant). Can anybody guess the theme?

Zoya and Orly were B2G1, can't complain!

- The Muse's Attitude

And then I had to cut my polish budget harshly, due to medical stuff and how expensive that can be... totally worth getting it taken care of, but... dayum, where'd all my monies go?

Nevertheless, I couldn't entirely resist when I found a pile of gorgeous glitter polishes at Walmart. It took a lot of willpower to come home with only the 10 I did. Diamond glitters! Dense multi-size glitters! HOLO BITS!!! *swoon*

Pure Ice:
- Treasure Hunt
- Material Girl
- Hot-Rocks
- French Twist

Maybelline Color Show:
- Rose Bling
- Sapphire Masquerade
- Lavender Sparks
- Cocktail Dress
- Gold's Night Out
- Sea-Quins

As I told the girl at checkout... I have a glitter problem. But I've been resisting two glitterbomb NOPI's, so... I'm not all bad! Could be worse.

I also ordered stamping plates from Red Angel & Bundle Monster! Finally I get to properly join in the stamping fun, I have one plate that came in a super cheap kit from Kiss that I picked up at Walmart ages ago, but it never worked well. Based on what I've seen described as common stamping plate issues, I'm guessing it's not etched deeply enough. But now I have good stamping plates! :D

The Butter London polishes were my big splurge, at $14 a bottle I can't justify to myself buying anything but the most fantastic colors. But a pale green holo and a duochrome-with-holo? I had to wipe away a little drool there!

I'm sneaking up on 500 polishes in my stash... help I have a problem!